Siskind’s Immigration Bulletin – July 23, 2012
Published by Greg Siskind, partner at the Immigration Law Offices of Siskind Susser, P.C., Attorneys at Law; telephone: 800-748-3819, 901-682-6455; facsimile: 800- 684-1267 or 901-339-9604, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, WWW home page: http://www.visalaw.com.
Siskind Susser serves immigration clients throughout the world from its offices in the US and its affiliate offices across the world. To schedule a telephone or in-person consultation with the firm, go to http://www.visalaw.com/intake.html
Editor: Greg Siskind. Associate Editor: Nicollette Davis. Contributors: Nicollette Davis, Ari Sauer.
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Conventional wisdom holds that immigration bills in Congress don’t pass as an election nears. But 2012 may prove different. First, four key, very popular immigration programs expire September 30th and their extension is likely to garner bipartisan support. They are the E-Verify, Conrad 30 J-1 doctors, religious worker immigrants and EB-5 investor programs. The programs are all very likely going to be extended, but what is less clear is whether substantive changes intended to improve aspects of these programs stand a chance of passing as well.
Then there is HR 3012, a bill that would remove per country quotas from the family and employment-based green card categories. The bill has largely been pushed by those negatively affected by the current system of limiting green cards for each country to 7%. That bill passed easily in the House. The Senate is proving to be more of a challenge and a recent deal to include some very controversial H-1B provisions that are ostensibly intended to address fraud could jeopardize 3012’s chances.
There are also bills designed to make more green cards available to those with degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, particularly if they have received advance degrees in the US. Some propose scrapping green card caps for this elite group and others call for pulling the numbers from elsewhere (such as the diversity visa lottery).
The calendar is short to do anything before the election. Of course, the bills could also pass in the lame duck session after the election when there is often less political pressure on members of Congress. We’ll be closely following the Congress over the next few months and I invite readers to check on my blog on law and policy at http://blogs.ilw.com/gregsiskind if they want to follow these issues on a day to day basis.
More than a month after the monumental announcement that DHS would establish a deferred action program to keep about a million young people out of deportation proceedings and grant them work cards, we still have no details regarding how the program will work. By August 15th, USCIS promised applications would be accepted. But time is running short if that target is to be met. Look for more news on this shortly as well.
The presidential campaign is growing more heated and the news for Mitt Romney with Latino voters is still grim, particularly due to his recent anti-immigration rhetoric and his association with Kris Kobach and other anti-immigrants who are reviled in the Latino community. The latest evidence is a poll released this week by Latino Decisions showing Romney now trailing President Obama by nearly 50 points (http://www.latinodecisions.com/blog/2012/07/18/after-sb1070-decision-obama-widens- lead-over-romney/). Many consider this extreme deficit to be jeopardizing Romney’s chances in a number of key battleground states. Some are saying that the situation is so dire, that Romney may feel compelled to choose a Latino vice presidential nominee. He’s largely boxed in on most of his immigration positions because of past statements and also because a number of his base supporters would not accept moderation.
Readers are reminded that they are welcome to contact my law office if they would like to schedule a telephone or in person consultation with me or one of my colleagues. If you are interested, please call my office at 901-682-6455.
Regards, Greg Siskind
2. ABCs of Immigration Law: TN Visas
What must I demonstrate to obtain a TN Visa?
One may qualify for a TN visa, if:
- the applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
- the profession is on the NAFTA list;
- the position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA-approved professional;
- the applicant will work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job for a U.S.employer (self-employment is not permitted);
- the applicant has the qualifications for the profession; and
- the applicant can demonstrate that their stay is temporary.How long are my family and I allowed in the U.S.
The maximum period of admission into the U.S. is up to three years and extensions of stay are granted in one-year increments. Spouses and children of TN visa holders are issued TD visas. TD visa holders may not work, but are allowed to attend school.
What does my U.S. employer provide me with?
The U.S. employer must provide the applicant with a letter of employment, indicating that the position requires the employment of a person in a professional capacity. The letter must further include the:
- activity in which the applicant will be engaged;
- purpose of entry;
- anticipated length of stay;
- qualifications or appropriate credentials demonstrating professional status;
- evidence of compliance with Department of Homeland Security regulations, and/orstate laws; and
- arrangement for pay.What professions qualify me for TN status?
A complete list of qualifying professions can be found here.
What are the specific requirements for a Canadian citizen?
Canadian citizens usually do not need a visa as a NAFTA professional, although a visa can be issued to qualified TN visa applicants upon request. A Canadian citizen without a TN visa can apply at a U.S. port of entry with the following documentation:
- An online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160 found here;
- A letter of employment;
- Proof of professional qualifications;
- Proof of ability to meet license requirements;
- Proof of Canadian citizenship; and
- A fee* of U.S. $160.What are the specific requirements for a Mexican citizen?
Unlike Canadian citizens, Mexican citizens cannot apply for a TN visa at a port of entry. They must apply for their TN visa at a U.S. embassy and undergo an interview. Each Mexican applicant for a TN visa must submit:
- An online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160 found here;
- A passport valid for travel to the U.S. with a validity date at least six month beyondthe applicants intended period of stay;
- One 2″ x 2″ photograph (a photograph is not required if applying in Mexico );
- A letter of employment; and
- A fee* of U.S. $160.*Application fees for non-immigrant and immigrant visas changed on April 13, 2012. However, if you paid your visa fee before April 13, 2012, you do not have to pay the difference between the new and old fee amounts as long as your visa interview was before July 12, 2012. Since July 13, 2012, applicants are required to pay the difference between the old and new fee amounts.
3. Ask Visalaw.com
If you have a question on immigration matters, write Askfirstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t answer every question, but if you ask a short question that can be answered concisely, we’ll consider it for publication. Remember, these questions are only intended to provide general information. You should consult with your own attorney before acting on information you see here.
I am a permanent resident. I got my green card through my employer four years ago. My wife is a US citizen and I have been married for three years. Can I apply for U.S. citizenship now based on my marriage to a U.S. citizen or do I have to wait until I have had my green card for 5 years?
As long as you meet the other requirements, you can apply now. A permanent resident who gets their green card through employment is still eligible to apply for citizenship through naturalization based upon marriage to a U.S. citizen for three years.
How the person obtained their residence is not relevant. To qualify for the three year rule, an individual must have been a permanent resident for at least 3 years, been married to a U.S. citizen for the past 3 years, and been living with their spouse for the past 3 years. In addition, their spouse must have been a U.S. citizen for the past 3 years.
The applicant must also meet all other requirements, such as the continuous residence requirement, the physical presence requirement and the good moral character requirement.
I am a US citizen and I filed an I-130 for my husband which was approved. My husband went to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico for the visa interview. He was denied the visa and told he has to stay in Mexico for 10 years before he can reapply. Can we do anything?
A foreign national who enters the US without inspection or who enters on a visa and overstays their expiration date on their visa may fall into a category called “unlawful presence.” Someone who has been unlawfully present for more than 180 days and leaves the US will be subject to a three-year bar from being able to get a visa to return to the US.
Someone who has been unlawfully present for more than a year and leaves the US will be subject to a ten-year bar from being able to get a visa to return to the US. There is a possibility of obtaining a waiver of the 3 or 10 year bar, without waiting the 3 or 10 years, if the applicant has a US citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent and can show that their relative will suffer extreme hardship if the waiver is not granted.
If someone who accrues a year of unlawful presence leaves the U.S., and, then, re-enters the U.S. without inspection, they will be subject to a permanent bar from being able to get a visa. Also, if someone who has been issued a removal order by an Immigration Judge or by CBP leaves the U.S., and, then, re-enters without inspection, they will be subject to the permanent bar, as well. Someone subject to the permanent bar for unlawful presence must wait outside the US for at least 10 years before they are eligible to apply for a waiver based on hardship to their relative.
This is a brief overview of these rules. If someone feels they might have been out of status for any period of time, they should consult an immigration law attorney before filing any application or leaving the US. Also, not everyone who has fallen out of status has been “unlawfully present.” Sometimes people are not subject to the bar even when USCIS or the Consulate says they are. An attorney should be consulted to determine if the person is unlawfully present or subject to one of the bars.
4. Border and Enforcement News:
Federal Hotline Set Up On Arizona Immigration
The Associated Press reports that the Department of Justice has set up a public hotline for individuals to report potential civil rights concerns related to the Arizona “show me your papers” law. The law, which was recently approved by the U.S. Supreme Court, requires local police to check the immigration status of individuals they stop for other reasons.
The hotline phone number is 1-855-353-1010. The email is SB1070@usdoj.gov.
Homeland Security Suspends Immigration Agreements with Arizona Police
The Washington Times reports that the Obama administration is suspending seven 287(g) task force agreements with Arizona police. The agreements granted some local police the authority to proactively enforce immigration laws. The administration took advantage of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling as a chance to end the agreements, which they reported “weren’t working.” In addition, the administration issued a directive which instructed Homeland Security officials to decline many of the calls from Arizona police reporting illegal immigrants. The administration officials said that they will not be issuing arrests on individuals unless they clearly meet the administration’s defined priorities. While federal officials will still perform checks as required by law, they will only respond when someone has a felony conviction on record. Otherwise, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials will tell the local police to release the person.
The Associated Press reports that Virginia’s request to have state troopers enforce federal immigration laws was denied. Governor Bob McDonnell submitted the request for a 287(g) task force agreement to the Department of Homeland Security last August. The agreements would have allowed state and local police to question and arrest illegal immigrants suspected in crimes. However, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) denied McDonnell’s request in February, with a letter stating that they would focus on other programs and would no longer consider 287(g) agreements with states and localities.
Ex-Arizona Governor Detained at Border Checkpoint
The Associated Press reports that former Arizona Governor Raul Castro was detained at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint after the vehicle he was traveling in triggered a radiation sensor. Castro served as Arizona’s first and only Hispanic governor from 1974-1977. He was traveling from his home in Nogales, Arizona to celebrate his 96th birthday in Tucson when he was detained on Interstate 19. Castro said that the agents questioned him outside his vehicle in 100-degree heat. He explained to them that he had undergone hospital testing on his pacemaker the previous day, likely triggering the sensor. However, officials kept him for 40 to 45 minutes, according to Castro. The federal agency said it was only 10 minutes.
Although Castro downplayed the detention by saying that he believed the stop was prompted by a monitor being set off and not by his appearance, he was displeased with the way he was treated. Castro didn’t file a complaint but suggested that enforcement officials adapt a better system for dealing with elderly people.
California OKs Bill to Blunt Deportation Efforts
The Los Angeles Times reports that a bill aimed at restricting California law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement efforts passed the State Senate on July 5th. The bill, also known as the Trust Act, would prohibit police and sheriff’s officials from detaining arrestees for possible deportation, unless the suspects have previous convictions for a serious violent felony. The Trust Act aims to lessen the federal immigration enforcement program, Secure Communities. Under the federal program, the fingerprints of arrestees are shared with immigration officials who issue detainment orders. If signed into law, the Trust Act would mark another one of California’s many legislative efforts on behalf of their estimated 2.55 million illegal immigrants.
Advocates of the California law say that it will prevent illegal immigrants from being detained and possibly deported for relatively minor legal misdemeanors, such as traffic infractions. The California State Sheriff’s Association, however, opposes the legislation, saying it would put local law enforcement in an awkward position between state law and federal policy. More than 75, 000 people have been deported from California under the federal Secure Communities program that began in 2009. Of those, 19,500 were convicted of misdemeanors, while 12, 600 were convicted of non-aggravated felonies or multiple misdemeanors, and 23, 500 were convicted of aggravated felonies or multiple other felonies. The rest were not convicted criminals but were considered priorities for deportation for other reasons. Under the Trust Act, which passed the Senate 21-13, an arrestee who is not convicted of a serious or violent felony would be released after serving sentence, posting bond, being acquitted of charges or otherwise becoming eligible for release, even if immigration officials request that the person be held for possible deportation.
Canada, U.S. Border: Nations Set to Begin Sharing More Info on Travelers
The Canadian Press reports that Canada and the United States plan to join forces in order to better deal with the “irregular flows” of refugees that turn up in North America or migrate within the continent. By 2014, the two countries will begin routinely sharing information about travelers, such as fingerprints. Canada is laying the foundation for legislative and regulatory changes that will require all travelers—including Canadian and U.S. citizens—to present a “secure document,” such as a passport or an enhanced driver’s license, when entering Canada. Canada will also help Washington by systemically providing information on all travelers entering Canada from the U.S. The agreement between the two countries was announced late last year and it is detailed in Canada’s Department of Citizenship and Immigration briefing notes.
The perimeter security initiatives of the two countries aim to smooth the passage of goods and people across the 49th parallel while strengthening defenses along the continental border. However, Roch Tasse of the Ottawa-based International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group says that the perimeter deal puts the personal information of Canadians at risk. Tasse said a disparity in privacy standards between the two countries means the security deal is likely to result is less control over the personal data of Canadians.
5. News from the Courts:
The Associated Press reports that the most controversial provision of Arizona’s law won’t take effect until July 20. The U.S. Supreme Court told a lower court on Tuesday that the effective date could be pushed back further if the Obama administration seeks a rehearing. The Supreme Court overturned three provisions of the Arizona law but upheld the requirement that police check the immigration status of individuals they stop for other reasons. Opponents of the law are expected to ask a judge to put the requirement on hold while they argue that the law cannot be enforced without racially profiling individuals.
Feds Look to Streamline Backlogged Immigration Courts
The Boston Herald reports that federal officials have adopted actions aimed at streamlining federal immigration courts. The changes were proposed by the Administrative Conference of the United States, an independent federal agency that provides nonpartisan legal advice to government agencies. The conference worked with the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security for over a year, searching for ways to make immigration courts more “efficient and fair.” Thirty-seven recommendations were examined in order to address more than 300,000 pending cases. Most of the recommendations focused on whether foreign-born individuals charged with violating immigration law should be removed from the U.S. or allowed to stay here and how to address the shortage of judges.
Alabama, Georgia Immigration Laws Back to Appeals Court
The Associated Press reports that lawsuits challenging Alabama’s and Georgia’s immigration laws went back to a federal appeals court Friday. Attorneys on both sides asked judges to reconsider the laws in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling. The state of Georgia argued that its law should be upheld based on the Supreme Court ruling of the Arizona law. While Alabama admitted that parts of its law, the parts similar to the Arizona provisions, are blocked by the Supreme Court decision, the state argued that other sections should be allowed for implementation, including a provision that requires public schools to check students’ citizenship status. Opponents of the laws in both states asserted that lawmakers overstepped their authority in passing laws that interfere with federal powers.
The Supreme Court ruling upheld the provision of Arizona’s law that requires police to check the immigration status of those they stop for other reasons. It overturned the other three sections that would require all immigrants to obtain and carry registration papers, make it a state crime for illegal immigrants to seek work or have a job, and allow police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants. Parts of the Arizona law were struck down because they were the responsibility of the federal government, not the state. While challenges to Alabama’s and Georgia’s laws focus on the same issue, the states argue that the private parties that are challenging the laws don’t have the authority to argue against them on the grounds of federal pre-emption.
Judge Reconsiders South Carolina’s Immigration Law after Arizona Ruling
Reuters reports that a federal judge in South Carolina revisited his order to block parts of the state’s immigration law, two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Arizona law. In December, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel blocked a section of South Carolina’s state law that requires police to check the immigration status of individuals they stop for other reasons. After the Supreme Court upheld a similar aspect of Arizona’s law, the judge said he would revisit his ruling from December. South Carolina is one of the five states, including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, and Utah, that modeled their laws after Arizona’s immigration enforcement laws. South Carolina’s law also provides for a special state police Immigration Enforcement Unit with unique uniforms and marked cars. The state police began hiring and training officers in January and are prepared to start enforcing the “legal stop” provision this month if the injunction is lifted.
However, Fox News Latino reports that U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel decided not to lift his injunction and the decision means that South Carolina police will not be able to question the immigration status of people they arrest or detain for various violations. Gergel says that he does not have the jurisdiction to alter his decision of last year because South Carolina appealed his injunction before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which now has to make a decision or return to the case and reconsider it. Gergel also ordered the state to deliver a report about the negotiations that have been carried out with federal immigration authorities, regarding the training of police under Program 287(g), which permits state and local authorities to enforce federal laws.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-09/business/sns-rt-usa- immigrationscarolinal2e8i98vi-20120709_1_attorney-general-alan-wilson-immigration-law- immigration-status
6. News Bytes:
WHNT News (Alabama) reports that leaders from the Southern Baptist denomination are calling for immigration reform. The leading figures of the denomination revealed a plan for which they said balances the rule of law with compassion. The Southern Baptist plan would provide a “pathway” to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently present in the United States and would include mandatory criminal background checks, a requirement to learn English, and payment of fines for past undocumented residency. The Southern Baptist denomination is one of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christian groups and Hispanic members have become one of the fastest growing segments in the Southern Baptist Church.
The Los Angeles Times reports that foreign-born investors are responsible for 76% of the patents that emerged from top American universities last year. According to a report released by the Partnership for a New American Economy, 99% of those patents were in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The report was based on a study of 1, 466 patents from the country’s top ten patent-generating schools, including the University of California system, Stanford, and Caltech. The partnership hopes that the study will inspire “new rules” to help international students in the U.S. get green cards or permanent visas more easily. Supporters believe that such an initiative would boost employment in U.S. and discourage immigrants from taking their talents to competing countries. According to the study, for each graduate with an advanced degree in a STEM field, 2.62 jobs are created in the United States. A full report is available here.
Study: Immigration Increases High School Graduation Rates for Kids Born Here
The Los Angeles Times reports that higher levels of immigration increase high school graduation rates among native-born children, especially among black students. According to a recent study conducted by Economist Jennifer Hunt, an increase of 1% in the share of immigrants aged 11-64 increases the probability that natives aged 11-17 complete 12 years of schooling by 0.3%. Hunt examined Census data from 1940 to 2010 and explained her research in a new paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research. The increase is particularly prevalent among native-born black students, whose probability increased by 0.4 percentage points. Hunt attributes the increase to a larger incentive by native-born children to complete school instead of competing with less-educated immigrants for low-skill jobs.
The full report is available here. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/06/29/study-immigration-
KMSP News (Minnesota) reports that the city of Minneapolis will be the first city in the U.S. to endorse Obama’s “deferred action” policy. The federal policy allows young illegal immigrants to continue living and working in America. The criteria to qualify: a.) arrived in the United States under the age of 16, b.) continuously lived in the United States for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012, c.) currently enrolled in school, have graduated high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. military, d.) have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety, and e.) are not above the age of 30. The city of Minneapolis formally endorsed the undocumented youth plan at a city hall event June 30, 2012.
Military Personnel Take Oath of Citizenship aboard Ship
The Los Angeles Times reports that 35 service personnel became citizens on the flight deck of the carrier Midway. The ceremony was held just before the Fourth of July and 19 countries and territories were represented as the active duty U.S. military members took the oath of allegiance. The federal government has a program that expedites the citizenship applications of military personnel. The naturalization ceremonies are held three times a year—just before Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Veteran’s Day. The new citizens came from countries China, Mexico, the Philippines, American Samoa, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, and Venezuela.
The Miami Herald reports that an illegal immigrant, Jose Godinez-Samperio, filed a motion with the state Supreme Court, stating that the Obama administration’s “deferred action” policy makes him eligible for a Florida law license. President Obama announced last month that illegal immigrants no older than 30, who arrived in the United States as children, have no criminal history, and have high school degrees or military service could stay and work in the U.S. The motion, filed by Godinez-Samperio’s attorney Talbot D’Alemberte, asks the court to order the Florida Board of Examiners to either conclude its investigation into Godinez-Samperio’s application or admit him.
Godinez-Samperio’s parents brought him to the U.S. from Mexico on a visitor’s visa when he was 9. His parents overstayed their visas and never returned to Mexico. Godinez-Samperio, now 25, grew up in Hillsborough County in Florida, graduated from Florida’s New college, earned a law degree from Florida State and passed the bar exam. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners, however, denied him admittance, asking the justices for an advisory opinion on whether illegal immigrants can be licensed as lawyers.
James Makowski, U.S. Citizen Mistaken For Undocumented Immigrant, Sues Government
The Huffington Post reports that a Chicago-area citizen is suing the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security after he was reportedly detained for two months in a maximum security prison. James Makowski, who was born in India and adopted into a U.S. family at a young age, was misidentified as an undocumented immigrant. According to The Los Angeles Times, Makowski was previously sentenced to four months at drug treatment program after he pleaded guilty in 2010 to a felony charge of selling heroin. However, when a fingerprint search incorrectly identified the Chicago resident as an undocumented immigrant, he was sent instead to a maximum-security prison in Pontiac, Illinois. He was held there for two months before the mistake was corrected.
Makowski alleges that the mistake was part of Secure Communities, the controversial federal program that aims to “crackdown” on illegal immigration by mandating that local law enforcement send the fingerprints of those who have been arrested by local police to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). While the program started as a voluntary program, it is now mandatory and will be implemented nationwide by 2013. Critics of the program say it promotes racial profiling and violates Americans’ right to privacy. ICE told The Los Angeles Times that they are unable to comment on Makowski’s case.
Florida Law School Grad Claims Obama’s Policy Clears Him for Bar
Lesbian Couple Sues over Immigration Plight
The Associated Press reports that a lesbian couple filed a federal lawsuit in California on Thursday seeking to put a stop to the deportation of same-sex spouses. The suit, seeking class-action status, was filed on behalf of Philippines citizen Jane DeLeon. DeLeon, an accounting clerk from Irvine, was sponsored for a green card by her employer but cannot get the waiver she needs to obtain residency because the U.S. government doesn’t recognize her marriage to her American spouse. A waiver application must show that a foreign citizen’s absence from the country could cause extreme hardship to an American citizen spouse or parent. However, federal immigration authorities denied DeLeon’s application for a waiver, even though her 49-year old spouse, Irma Rodriquez, suffers from a medical condition that could make moving to the Philippines devastating to her health. The case is one of many brought by same-sex couples over the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 law that prohibits the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex marriages. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it will continue to enforce the DOMA until Congress repeals it or until there is a final judicial determination that it is unconstitutional.
7. Washington Watch:
The Associated Press reports that the House Labor and Industry Committee approved a bill that would require contractors on public construction projects in Pennsylvania to verify the Social Security numbers of their employees. The bill would require contractors on state or local projects costing at least $25,000 to use existing federal programs to verify all of their workers. Employers who fail to make checks could be subject to suspension from future projects. The sponsor, Democratic Rep. John Galloway of Bucks County, stated that the bill would “help save good-paying construction jobs for individuals who are entitled to them.” The bill is aimed at keeping illegal immigrants out of public construction projects.
House Approves Waiver of Border Environmental Laws
The Associated Press reports that the House approved a bill that would permit Border Patrol to avoid over a dozen environmental laws on federally managed lands, allowing them unregulated access to 100 miles of borderlands along Mexico and Canada. The bill was approved 232 to 188 and its chief sponsor, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), asserted that the restrictions on federal lands have turned the wilderness areas into highways for criminals, drug trafficking, and rapists. However, opponents of the bill see it as a measure that would sacrifice important environmental protections in order to advance an “anti-immigrant and anti-regulatory agenda.” The bill would also transfer control of more than 65,000 acres of the Alaska Tongass National Forest to a private corporation. Critics call the proposal a “land grab worth billions of dollars in timber sales.”
Texas Representative Demands Answers on Deportation Policy
The Texas Insider reports that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) sent a letter to Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) John Morton demanding information on the President’s “deferred action” policy. According The Texas Insider, recent internal documents obtained by the House Judiciary Committee reveal that the policy was implemented more than 60 days before the Administration said it would go into effect. Rep. Smith asserts that the documents “demonstrate that illegal immigrants have already benefited from the new policy, even though there are no standards in place.” Rep. Smith addresses the issue as an act of fraud. The full letter is available at here.
Big Step Forward on High-Skilled Immigration Bill
The National Journal reports that Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Republican Chuck Grassley on Wednesday removed a huge barrier to legislation that could speed the visa system for highly skilled immigrants. He removed his objection to legislation that would ease the immense backlogs for applicants from India and China, home to many “super- skilled” immigrants. President Obama endorsed the bill, and ironically, so did the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, which passed the bill last year. The bill, named the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, would remove per-country quotas on permanent work visas. The legislation would not add to the overall number of available green cards, but it would speed up processing for skilled immigrants who now face a waiting period of up to 70 years on temporary work visas. Grassley lifted his opposition to the bill only after he struck a deal with Democrats to include enhanced oversight and annual compliance audits to the H-1B program, a program Grassley believed was “rife with fraud, exploitation of foreign workers and disadvantage for U.S. job seekers.”
8. Campaign 2012:
The New York Times reports that George P. Bush said “it’s never too late” for Mitt Romney to take a leadership role in the immigration debate. Mr. Bush acknowledged that Republicans were outflanked by President Obama’s election-year “deferred action” immigration policy. However the son of the former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida said that Romney still has an opportunity to “get in front of the president on an issue.” Mr. Bush, who is urging younger voters to increase their participation in the 2012 election through a political committee called MavPAC, said that he hoped Romney would still formulate a “more comprehensive plan” on immigration. George P. Bush told reporters that the Republican Party needed to broaden its outreach to younger voters and search for an “honest solution to the immigration problem.”
9. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman 2012 Annual Report
In her opening message, the Acting Ombudsman Rogers writes:
“Our mission is to assist individuals and employers who have encountered problems with the immigration benefits system. We are constantly striving to find new and better ways to perform this function. In this report, we identify some of the difficulties encountered by USCIS’ customers and offer potential solutions.”
The 2012 Annual Report includes an overview of the Ombudsman’s Office mission and services, a review of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ initiatives, and summaries of issues affecting the delivery of immigration services in the areas of employment, family and children, humanitarian service, and customer service.
USCIS Year in Review
According to the report, USCIS implemented new outreach efforts, which include:
- Expanded Information Services: USCIS added enhanced tools to its website,www.uscis.gov, such as a news ticker, live streaming and improved data tracking.
- Multilingual Engagements: USCIS launched a Chinese-language series called “Jaio Líu,” in addition to current Spanish-language series “Enlace.” Each series focuses on a different immigration and citizenship topic and this, year USCIS has coordinated more than 30 national and local events in Spanish, Arabic, French, Amharic, Chinese and Vietnamese.
- Immigration Services for the U.S. Military: USCIS fully implemented the “Naturalization at Basic Training Program” in partnership with the Department of Defense. Since the program began in 2010, more than 3,800 U.S. service members have become U.S. citizens upon graduation from basic training. As of 2012, the Army Navy, Air Force and Marines have undertaken to provide U.S. service members with the opportunity to apply for naturalization during basic training.
- The Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law Initiative: Since the inception of the “national multi-agency initiative to combat immigration services scams,” USCIS has distributed 260, 000 brochures in 14 different languages, and hosted 88 engagements. Commenced as a pilot program in Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Fresno, Los Angeles, New York, and San Antonio, USCIS plans to expand the Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law Initiative (UPIL) in 2012.
- The Entrepreneurs in Residence Program: Through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Loaned Executive Program, USCIS has enlisted entrepreneurs and academics with expertise in business innovation and information technology to help refine USCIS policies and training.
2012 Areas of Study: Issues of Immigration Services Implementations Recommended Solutions
- “Employment Authorization Documents: Meeting the 90 Day Mandate and Minimizing the Impact of Delay on Individuals and Employers.” According to the report, on July 18, 2011, the Ombudsman’s Office made recommendations to help USCIS reduce EAD processing delays, meet its regulatory mandate, and improve customer service. USCIS responded to those recommendations on April 11, 2012 and initiated a data review to better understand the extent of the issue.
- “Recommendations to Improve the Quality in Extraordinary Ability and Other Employment-Based Adjudications.” According to the report, on December 29, 2011, the Ombudsman’s Office published recommendations for improving the quality of extraordinary ability and certain other employment-based adjudications. Stakeholders raised concerns about the subjective nature of final merits determination. As of the publication of the 2012 Annual Report, USCIS had not yet issued a formal response to the recommendations.
- “Healthcare Immigration Concerns.” According to the report, about a quarter of U.S. physicians are international medical graduates that require USCIS authorization to work in the United States. The Ombudsman’s Office met with stakeholders to discuss the issues of healthcare professionals applying for immigration benefits. The Office is reviewing the issues and plans to publish recommendations in the next 180 days.
- “Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises.” In March 2011, USCIS began using the Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) to evaluate the viability of a petitioning company. Stakeholders have reported that, at times, VIBE data on joint ventures, new companies, and entities with complex corporate structures is inaccurate. The Ombudsman’s Office continues to bring stakeholder concerns regarding the effect of VIBE to the attention of USCIS.
- “EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.” In 1990, Congress established the fifth employment-based preference category for immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. to engage in commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and directly create at least ten full-time jobs. According to the report, in March 2009, the Ombudsman’s Office made recommendations regarding improvements to the EB-5 program as, then, many of the 10, 000 available EB-5 visas were unused. Although the EB-5 program has increased in popularity, a large percentage of available EB-5 visas remain unused each year.Family and Children
- “Special Immigrant Juvenile Adjudication: An Opportunity for Adoption of Best Practices.” According to the report, on April 15, 2011, the Ombudsman’s Office published recommendations aimed at strengthening the Special Immigration Juvenile (SIJ) program. USCIS responded to the Ombudsman’s recommendations on July 13, 2011, verifying that it will continue to develop specialized training for officers who make decisions on SIJ status and that it has taken measures to ensure that SIJ decision-making processes are completed within the 180-day requirement. However, USCIS rejected the Office’s recommendation that it “cease requesting evidence underlying state court determinations of foreign child dependency.”
- “Conditional Permanent Residence.” Under INA Section 216, the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, married for less than two years at the date of admission, receives conditional permanent resident status for a period of two years. Some of the issues stakeholders reported were the absence of any notification that conditional resident status is expiring, problems obtaining proof of status while Form I-751 is pending, lack of guidance on how a conditional resident can change a petition from a joint filing to a waiver application, problems connected with files being unavailable to adjudicators, issuance of unclear Requests for Evidences (RFEs), inconsistent decisions, and insufficient training regarding the adjudication of battered spouse waiver petitions. The Ombudsman’s Office plans to issue recommendations within the next 180 days.
- “Survivor Benefits: The Adjudication of Benefits Requests Made Pursuant to Immigration and Nationality Act Section 204(1).” According to the report, on October 28, 2009, Congress enacted “Immigration and Nationality Act Section 204(1)” to expand immigration benefits for certain surviving relatives in the family and employment preference categories, asylees, and those who have T (trafficking) or U (crime victim) non-immigrant status. USCIS has not issued the new regulations needed to implement the act and ensure that petitions for eligible surviving beneficiaries are properly adjudicated. The Ombudsman’s Office is formally reviewing stakeholder concerns and plans to publish recommendations within the next 180 days.
- “Addressing the Needs of U.S. Service Members and their Families.” According to the report, on July 9, 2010, 18 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, urging her to address the immigration needs of U.S. service members. In response, Secretary Napolitano outlined options available, stating that “on a case-by-case basis” DHS will consider parole and deferred action to minimize periods of family separation and to facilitate adjustment of status for spouses, parents, and children of military members. To date, USCIS has not provided its field offices with guidance on how to administer discretionary relief for family members of U.S. service members. The Ombudsman’s Office has repeatedly raised these issues with USCIS, emphasizing the impact on military families.Humanitarian
“Deferred Action: Recommendations to Improve Transparency and Consistency in the USCIS Process.” USCIS, along with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), holds the authority to consider deferred action. Stakeholders have reported a lack of clear, consistent information regarding who may request deferred action and how a request should be submitted. According to the report, on July, 11, 2011, the Ombudsman’s Office published a formal recommendation regarding the USCIS deferred action process. On October 27, 2011, USCIS issued a response and committed to issuing internal standard operating procedures to ensure consistency in the processing and determination of deferred action requests and to tracking data regarding the number of deferred action requests.
- “Employment Authorization for Asylum Applicants: Recommendations to Improve Coordination and Communication.” According to federal regulations, USCIS, or the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), is required to make decisions on an asylum application within 180 days. If more than 180 days have passed since the filing of an application and the delay is not the fault of the asylum seeker, he/she may apply for employment authorization. USCIS and EOIR commonly refer to the monitoring of the time the asylum has been pending as the “asylum clock.” However, asylum applicants and their representatives have expressed frustration at the scarcity of public information about how the asylum clock functions and the lack of avenues available to effectively and efficiently resolve asylum clock problems. On August 26, 2011, the Ombudsman’s Office published a recommendations regarding employment authorization for asylum applicants. On January 4, 2012, USCIS released a response concurring with the Ombudsman’s Office recommendations.
- “Ensuring a Fair and Efficient Asylum Process for Unaccompanied Children.” With the passage of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims’ Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), Congress identified specialized needs for “unaccompanied alien children” seeking asylum and recognized the importance of governing regulations. The Ombudsman’s Office is examining the procedures available for unaccompanied children who want to file asylum applications with USCIS and plans to publish recommendations within the next 180 days.
- “Employment Authorization for Vulnerable Populations.” In 2009, the Ombudsman’s Office recommended that USCIS implement procedures to provide T and U visa applicants with employment authorization during the pendency of their applications. The Ombudsman’s Office plans to follow up on its 2009 recommendations regarding employment authorization for vulnerable populations and provide further recommendations to USCIS.Customer Service Recommendations
- “USCIS Service Requests: Recommendations to Improve the Quality of Responses to Inquiries from Individuals and Employers.” On March 7, 2012, the Ombudsman’s Office published a formal recommendation covering the USCIS Service Management Tool (SRMT). While SRMT has enhanced USCIS’ ability to quickly respond to customer inquiries, stakeholders report that many of the responses fail to address the underlying issues or prove a substantive response. On June 14, 2012, USCIS issued a response, outside of the 2012 reporting period.
- “Recommendations Regarding USCIS’ Role in Petition Information Management Service.” In 2007, the U.S. Department of State began using the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) to improve the security and efficiency of the visa issuance process. On May 16, 2012, the Ombudsman’s Office mad recommendations to USCIS to improve communication with DOS in ways that would enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of PIMS. As of the publication of the 2012 Annual Report, USCIS had not yet issued a response.
- “The Systemic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program: Improving the Process for Individuals, Employers, and USCIS Customer Agencies.” The Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program is an inter- governmental initiative designed to aid federal, state, and local benefit-granting agencies in determining an applicant’s immigration status. The Ombudsman’s Office is formally reviewing customer-reported issues and plans to issue recommendations within 180 days.
- “Notices to Appear, Removal Priorities, and Immigration Court Docket Efficiency.” USCIS has the authority to issue Notices to Appear (NTAs) placing individuals in removal proceedings. Legally sound charging documents, DHS-wide removal priorities, and careful coordination among USCIS, ICE, and EOIR are essential to the efficient processing of immigration benefits applications, as well as efficient administration of the EOIR docket. The Ombudsman’s Office is reviewing measures to enhance interagency cooperation and plans to issue formal recommendations within 180 days.
- “Representation Issues: The Role of Attorneys and Other Representatives in a Non-Adversarial Process.” On January 17, 2012, USCIS issued a proposed policy memorandum focused on the role of attorneys and other representatives. On February 14, 2012, the Ombudsman’s Office provided feedback regarding the policy memorandum. After the close of the reporting period, on May 23, 2012, USCIS issued an update to the memorandum. The Ombudsman’s Office continues to monitor this issue.
- “The USCIS Administrative Appeals Office.” When USCIS denies certain applications or petitions, affected individuals and employers may appeal the denial to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The Ombudsman’s Office is examining delays encountered by stakeholders when submitting appeals to the AAO.Over the course of the next year, the Ombudsman’s Office will continue to review USCIS’ policies and processes with an emphasis on enhancing technological tools to aid in the adjudication process, improving customer service, ensuring access to immigration benefits for vulnerable groups, and implementing rules and regulations in a fair, consistent, and effective manner.
10. Updates from the Visalaw.com Blogs
- Romney Immigration Address Baffles Observers
- Rubio Now Says He Would Come to the US Illegally If He Had To
- Obama: Take Romney at His Word
- Supreme Court Expected to Decide Arizona Case Today
- Supreme Court Announces Most of Arizona Law Invalid
- Text of Supreme Court Case Invaliding Most of SB1070
- Decision is Big Win for White House
- Obama Statement on Supreme Court decision
- DHS Ends Agreements with Arizona Law Enforcement Authorities
- Our Guide to Arizona v. United States
- No Time to Forget Skilled Workers
- Romney Again Dodges Responding to Immigration News
- Immigrant of the Day: Manuel Huerta – Olympic Triathlete
- Green Card Stories
- Report: Immigration Increases High School Graduation Rate for All Students
- Immigrant of the Day: Daniel Leyva Gonzalez – Olympic Gymnast
- Immigrants in Mayberry!
- Napolitano Offers Hints of How Deferred Action for DREAMers Will Work
- August Visa Bulletin Dates Are Out
- Immigrant of the Day: Michaela DePrince – Dancer
- Grassley Removes Hold on 3012
- Obama Expands Lead with Latino VotersThe SSB I-9, E-Verify, & Employer Immigration Compliance Blog
- DREAMers – Potential Problems in I-9 Compliance
- DOJ Files Lawsuit against Rose Acre Farms Alleging Discrimination toward Work-Authorized Non-Citizens
- More companies to be covered by Georgia’s E-Verify law on July 1
- Pennsylvania to be 1st Northeastern state with E-Verify Legislation
- Governor Corbett signs Pennsylvania E-Verify Law by Bruce Buchanan
- South Carolina Starts Enforcement of its New E-Verify Law by Bruce Buchanan,Siskind Susser
The Visalaw Healthcare Immigration Blog
Karen Weinstock’s Visalaw Georgia Immigration Blog
- NEW IDEAS FOR DREAM ACT ELIGIBILITY FOR DEFERRED INSPECTION
- FOREIGN INVENTORS DOMINATE PATENTS AWARDED TO TOP RESEARCHUNIVERSITIES
- HOW THE SUPREME COURT ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW AFFECTS GEORGIA’S HB87
- GEORGIA STILL SUFFERING FROM FARM LABOR SHORTAGES
- GEORGIA ARGUES TO ALLOW ITS POLICE TO ENFORCE HB87 PAPER CHECK
- DEKALB COUNTY SCHOOLS CHANGE POLICY ON IMMIGRANTS
- VIDALIA DENIES SAFE HARBOR CHARGES
- COBB COUNTY IMPLEMENTS IMAGE
11. State Department Visa Bulletin: August 2012
Family 1st – World numbers, China and India jumped five weeks to 01 August 05; Mexico stalled at 08 June 93; the Philippines regressed three years and 4 months to 01 March 94.
Family 2A – World numbers, China, India, and the Philippines jumped one month to 15
March 10; Mexico advanced one month to 01 March 10.
Family 2B – World numbers, China, and India advanced seven weeks to 22 June 04; Mexico jumped 8 months and three weeks to 22 August 92; the Philippines advanced a week and a half to 01 January 02.
Family 3rd – World numbers, China, and India moved forward two weeks to 01 May 02;
Mexico stalled at 22 January 93; the Philippines remains stalled at 22 July 92.
Family 4th – World numbers, China stalled at 08 January 01; India advanced three and a half weeks to 15 February 01; Mexico advanced one week to 15 June 96; the Philippines stalled at 01 February 89.
Employment 1st – still current in all categories.
Employment 2nd – World numbers, Mexico, and the Philippines stalled at 01 January 09; numbers for China and India are unavailable.
Employment 3rd – World numbers, Mexico jumped six weeks to 08 September 06; the
Philippines advanced one week to 15 June 06; China jumped six weeks to 08 November 05;
India advanced one week to 01 October 02.
Employment 3rd Other Workers – World numbers, Mexico jumped two months to 08
September 06; the Philippines stalled at 08 June 06; China stalled at 15 June 03; one week advance for India to 01 October 02.
Employment 4th – still current in all categories. Employment 5th – still current in all categories.
Number 47 Volume IX Washington, D.C.
A. STATUTORY NUMBERS
1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during August. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by July 9th. If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date announced in this bulletin.
2. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000. The worldwide level for annual employment- based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. Section 202 prescribes that the per- country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620. The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.
3. INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas: CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.
4. Section 203(a) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Family- sponsored immigrant visas as follows:
First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not
required for fourth preference.
Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:
A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.
On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); “C” means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available. (NOTE: Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)
All Charge- Family- ability Areas
Sponsored Except Those Listed
- F2A 15MAR10
- F2B 22JUN04
- F3 01MAY02
- F4 15FEB01
mainland INDIA born
*NOTE: For August, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01MAR10. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per- country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01MAR10 and earlier than 15MAR10. (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)
5. Section 203(b) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Employment- based immigrant visas as follows:
First: Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus
any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.
Second: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.
Third: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “*Other Workers”.
Fourth: Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.
Fifth: Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.
On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); “C” means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available. (NOTE: Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)
Chargeability mainland INDIA Areas Except born
1st C C C C C
Other Workers 08SEP06
5th Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
*Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category: Section 203(e) of the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year. This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program. Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.
6. The Department of State has a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at: (202) 663-1541. This recording is updated on or about the tenth of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.
B. DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY
Section 203(c) of the INA provides up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit additional immigration opportunities for persons from countries with low admissions during the previous five years. The NACARA stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program. This resulted in reduction of the DV-2012 annual limit to 50,000. DV visas are divided among six geographic regions. No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.
For August, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2012 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:
All DV Chargeability
Region Areas Except Those Listed
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) CURRENT
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN
Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery. The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2012 program ends as of September 30, 2012. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2012 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2012 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2012. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2012 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.
C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN SEPTEMBER
For September, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2012 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:
All DV Chargeability
Region Areas Except Those Listed
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) CURRENT
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN
D. PHILIPPINES FAMILY FIRST PREFERENCE VISA AVAILABILITY
Continued heavy demand for numbers in the Philippines Family First preference category has required the retrogression of that cut-off date in an effort to hold number use within the annual numerical limit.
E. OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN
The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs publishes the monthly Visa Bulletin on their website at www.travel.state.gov under the Visas section. Alternatively, visitors may access the Visa Bulletin directly by going to:
To be placed on the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, please send an E-mail to the following E-mail address:
email@example.com Subscribe Visa-Bulletin First name/Last name
(example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin Sally Doe)
To be removed from the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, send an e-mail message to the following E-mail address:
firstname.lastname@example.org and in the message body type: Signoff Visa-Bulletin
and in the message body type:
The Department of State also has available a recorded message with visa cut-off dates which can be heard at: (202) 663-1541. The recording is normally updated by the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.
Readers may submit questions regarding Visa Bulletin related items by E-mail at the following address:
(This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin.)
Department of State Publication 9514 CA/VO: July 9, 2012